Have you noticed that people’s New Year’s resolutions usually fade after a month? This is because we don’t set realistic or specific targets, but rather talk about the health and fitness changes we would like to make in vague terms; for instance, ‘losing weight’ or ‘getting healthier’. Also, we anticipate failure from the get-go since that’s all we’ve experienced in the past. Hopefully, this year will be different. With these fitness New Year’s resolutions to consider, you can learn how to apply the principles of goal setting to your own goals and aspirations.
1. Get Specific About Your Goals
When you formulate a new goal, it should be put through a SMART test. The SMART test aims to answer whether or not the goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-framed. If not, then adjust your goal so that it is fitting and then write it down. Consider comparing ‘I’m going to lose weight this year’ to ‘I’m going to lose 10 kgs by April.’ This statement gives you a set goal to work towards. It’s important to set realistic goals, as if you haven’t been into fitness before. Start small and then build momentum. Simply set the goal of going to the gym in the beginning, and follow that up with longer sessions going forward. Once formed into a habit, increase the difficulty of your goals, and don’t forget to always congratulate yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they are.
2. Write Your Resolutions Down
As soon as you have decided upon a specific and reasonable goal, it’s best to write it down and stick it up somewhere you will see it every day. Studies show that if you write down your goals and share them with your friends and family, you are more likely to follow through with them than if you hadn’t. Write your goal on a sticky note that can be placed on your mirror or make it a post on social media. By doing this, not only will it mean that you’re holding yourself accountable, but you might just encourage your friends as well.
3. Establish A Set Schedule
An important aspect of sticking to your fitness New Year’s resolutions is creating a set workout schedule. If possible, try to work out at the same time and place every day. This will help you to establish a routine whilst also helping you form stronger habits. Review your schedules and find a daily time when you can exercise without disrupting other parts of your life.
4. Switch It Up
After following the same exercise routine for some time, you may find that your body gets used to the exercises, leaving you feeling like you haven’t worked out much. Change your workout routine every once in a while to keep your body guessing while adding some variety and fun to the schedule. You might just find a new type of exercise that you enjoy doing even more.
For example, if you’re used to working out at the gym every day, try something new like yoga, cycling or kickboxing. You’ll find that the change will help to keep you motivated in achieving your fitness goals.
5. Increase Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of health-promoting and disease-fighting phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Ideally, you’ll want to consume five to eight portions a day. If it seems challenging, try to spread your intake throughout the day. Try squeeze in a portion or two for breakfast to get your day started the right way. A fruit smoothie or freshly squeezed juice goes well with your breakfast. Side salads and servings of vegetables work well with lunch and dinner meals, and don’t forget to snack on fruits throughout the day to keep your body ticking along with plenty of sustenance. If you need more advice, check out these 5 tips for healthy eating during summer.
6. Be Body Aware
Body awareness isn’t something that stops once you stop exercising, it’s something that should be on your mind 24/7. Look out for hunched, tight shoulders, a clenched jaw, a hanging out stomach, a jutting forward head and crossed limbs. If you can monitor your body regularly throughout the day, you’ll be able to recognise your bad posture and correct it. The plus side is that the more you actively correct these things, the more it will become second nature, and over enough time, you’ll have an improved posture while feeling taller and more graceful.
7. Drink Enough Water
Most of us aspire to drink enough water as our bodies need on a daily basis, but unfortunately we aren’t always mindful of it. While you are exercising, you should make sure you have more than enough water to get you through the session. Summer is also a reason to be taking in more water than usual because of how much we sweat out. If you aren’t sure how much water you should be drinking, the recommended water intake for adults is 1ml per calorie. So, that’s 2000ml for the average woman’s 2000 calories diet per day. When drinking enough water, you will see an improvement in your concentration, skin, and energy levels.
8. Try To Balance Your Fitness
It’s easy to restrict yourself to one activity that you enjoy, but having a balance of different activities in your workout regime will be much more beneficial. Try having a mix of strength training, flexibility and aerobic exercises. Doing this will reduce the risk of injury or burnout, promote fitness in neglected areas, and improve your overall performance when doing your favourite workout too.
9. Try Something New
Whether it’s surfing, horseback riding, or pilates, one of your New Year’s fitness resolutions could be to try something new. Pledge to acquire a new activity-related skill this year. Your body does get complacent when always doing the same thing, so giving something new a try will force your brain and body to master new motor patterns. You’ll be surprised how fun and rewarding it is compared to the same old routines.
It’s a good idea to consider these pointers before you commit to a new health and fitness regime for the year. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments from the past year and those yet to come, but it’s also smart to keep in mind that you may have some roadblocks along the way. It’s better to start small and work towards bigger goals instead of trying to do the most difficult things first. Remember, don’t overthink it, the most important step is making an effort. Increase that effort every day and you’re bound to succeed.
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